February 28, 2021

Of trunk and branch

Tree of Life

– pre-unit Bonnie that has been tastefully fettled for action along a rural trail. Looks like a proper bike.

February 27, 2021

Sleeping Tiger

Waiting for a warm-up

– whilst putting the snow blower back into the garage the Triumph was giving me eyes. The temperatures touched 50 today and much of the snow mounds continued to melt away. Should be back on the roads soon!

February 25, 2021

Verdant Velociraptor

Green Monster

Tasty example of a sixties Triumph off road machine. there’s is something very satisfying about this one.

February 24, 2021

Shady Alcove

In a dusty corner

Sits an unused Bonneville

– just needing a dust-off, lubrication, gas up and a quiet winding road.

February 23, 2021

Cherry Red Tank

Hybrid

– What do you get if you cross a 500cc Triumph Twin engine with a Greeves frame? A Grumph. Like some character from a Maurice Sendak story; it may make an adventure out of a jaunt in the woods.

February 22, 2021

The Shropshire Star

Anyone for a game of footie?

By Toby Neal published June 2, 2020

“Top flight football is tiptoeing its way to a comeback as the nation eases its way out of the coronavirus restrictions. But if you want social distancing, at least by the length of the front forks, motorcycle footer has its health and safety attractions.

And another thing, Wolverhampton was rather good at it.

To get a flavour of what it was all about, let’s turn back the clock to April 1928, when the sport – then only around four years old – made its first appearance in the Newport district, with a motorcycle football match held at Lilleshall Hall between Wolverhampton and Coventry & Warwick.

Coventry & Warwick had never been beaten, and had won the Auto Cycle Union All England Cup for three years on the trot, as well as numerous other events.

Wolverhampton were rated as one of the most improved teams in the country, a young and skilful side who had been runners up in the ACU Cup in 1927.

Now, the rules.

“The game is played with six players a side, with only the goalkeeper and fullback keeping their positions. The remaining four players are intent on forcing the football through their opponents’ goal,” explained the Newport and Market Drayton Advertiser’s report of this crunch match.

“The skill with which the players control the ball while travelling at speed is truly remarkable. It is by no means a slow game. On the contrary, it is amazingly fast, and the skilled riders must at times have reached 40 miles an hour. The players not only used their feet, but also their heads when occasion demanded.”

In the first half Wolverhampton were the better team and deserved to go into the break 2-0 up. After the interval Coventry & Warwick pulled one back, and but for two fine saves by Barnard in the Wolverhampton goal would surely have gone in front.

Wolverhampton increased their lead, only for their opponents to pull one back a few minutes later.

The glorious final score: Wolverhampton 3, Coventry & Warwick 2. The invincible Coventry & Warwick had at last been toppled.

A few years ago we spoke to June Hussey of Wombourne, whose father Tommy Deadman helped pioneer the sport in Wolverhampton.

He founded Wolverhampton Motor Cycle Football Club – presumably the same side which played that match at Lilleshall – which played home games in Pinfold Lane, Penn.

The sport captured the public’s imagination, albeit for a fleeting time, and led to teams being set up across the country and the creation of a league.

With Tommy as captain, the Wolves team enjoyed a successful year in 1928, winning the Midland League Championship by beating Birmingham and competing in a nationwide competition equivalent to the FA Cup.

Wolves beat local rivals West Bromwich 10-1 in the first round and in the second round beat a team known as Douglas MC. Wolves got all the way to the final but lost to Coventry.

Born and bred in Wolverhampton, Tommy Deadman had already made quite a name for himself in the world of motorcycling, having taken part in the first ever dirt track racing at Wolverhampton’s Monmore Green Stadium in August 1928.

Motorcycle football was popular for a number of years but seems to have faded away around the time of the war, although the idea of playing football on a motorbike has popped up from time to time since.

February 21, 2021

Sunday Night Blues

Winter rolls along…

.. so we need to look at the fun times ahead as spring emerges from the snow and ice surrounding us.

February 20, 2021

Shangri-La

Mountain Tigers

– the gravel road hugging the rugged Spiti Valley in the north of India where is touches the Himalaya. Boy; to be wheelin’ along this dirt road!

February 19, 2021

Khakis

Sky Pilot of the First Unreformed Church of the Lunatic Fringe

– aka Deadlock. Mystical member of the ABC Warriors; is the Grand Wizard of the Knights Martial, an order of robot mystics of unknown origin who are worshippers of the god Khaos, the embodiment of chaos.

February 18, 2021

Sharpie Sketch

Orange is the New Black

– as part of my sketch a day I rattled off a quick pen drawing of the Bonnie’s engine.

February 17, 2021

Grandpa rides pillion

Vintage Photography

– neat old image of a proud Triumph Mountain Tiger Cub owner, Orville, taking his grandfather for a spin.

February 15, 2021

Luxton Laughs

Busmans Holiday

– Classic 70’s sitcom On The Buses sees one time ‘clippie’ Olive Rudge and her aloof husband George take a fully loaded combination to some seaside destination. George was the center of much derision from main ne’er do well characters, Stan and Jack, due to the decrepit appearance on the BSA.

BSA W35-8 Bluestar (1935)

February 13, 2021

Winter Sled

Snowy Suzuki

– tucked in a corner behind a neighboring apartment building stands this older GS500 under a blanket of snow. I nearly bought one of these in London back in the nineties but ended up with the Kawasaki GPZ500.

February 12, 2021

Got2Go

RTW Tiger

– moto traveller Lea Rieck gets her gas tank refilled somewhere up the Karakoram. Her sturdy Tiger clocked 90k km on her circumnavigation.

February 11, 2021

Strabler’s Steed

Fifty Two Thunderbird

– bright red Triumph in homage to Brando’s film from that era. Good form, clean details and a might fine looking machine to go tooling around on.

Johnny : “Nobody tells me what to do. You keep needlin’ me, if I want to, I’m gonna take this joint apart and you’re not gonna know what hit you”